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BOOK REVIEWS91 "in the confrontation of the relatively ethical managers of this road with the relatively unethical managers of certain competitors. . . ." Professor Miner assesses the efficiency and ethicality of each of these corporations and their managers according to their devotion to the dream rather than evaluating the means by which they achieved it. Contrariwise, the unethical competitors are those who attack the aspiration of reaching San Francisco by way of the thirty-fifth parallel. Thus, it was this magnificent dream of the leaders of the project, such as John C. Fremont, Clinton Fisk, Joseph Seligman, Charles Rogers and General Edward Winslow which provided the inspiration to construct the railroad, even if their business acumen, which was weak at certain crucial times, allowed the corporations they led to fail. Charles Rogers was the one exception since he successfully combined superior managerial leadership with the dream of reaching the coast. However, the dream failed, when the opposition of Collis P. Huntington, Jay Gould, Russell Sage and Leland Stanford took control of the Frisco in 1882 in order to further their ambitions as well as those of the railroad corporations they represented. Just as the Frisco received the right to build through Indian territory which might have saved the dream, it was absorbed by these men who were uninterested in a St. Louis-San Francisco trunk line. This corporate history of the thirty-fifth parallel project is written in a most interesting manner. The dream of completing the project provides the thread of unity which holds the multi-corporations and their leaders together in a common purpose and which explains the reasons for the configuration of the Frisco today. However, Professor Miner does not attempt to determine whether or not the construction of such a line would have been valuable for the nation. Thus, little attention is given to the social and economic impact of the railroad upon the areas it traversed. Extremely useful as supplements to the text are a map of the Frisco system in 1896 showing each step in the construction of the road and an appendix which gives a brief corporate history of the Frisco System to 1890. The footnotes are listed after the appendix and give testimony to the great amount of research which the author has made into the original documents. The bibliography is particularly rich and valuable for those searching for the location of railroad archives and other archival material related to western railroad development. Charles H. Clark Harrisburg Area Community College Political Tendencies in Louisiana. By Perry H. Howard. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1971. Pp. xxxvi, 476. $12.95.) First published in 1957, Political Tendencies in Louisiana, is an attempt to use aggregate data analysis to describe voter behavior. The introduc- tion and first five chapters include an apology for political ecology, a definition of voter types, and chronological studies from early statehood through reconstruction. The dust jacket boasts that he presents "... a clear-cut understanding of how Louisianians voted . . . and why." Although marred by omissions the appendices indicate "how" Louisianians voted. The text does not adequately explain "why." Professor Howard emphasizes the continuity of political conflict between a planter-merchant elite and almost all other socio-political groups before 1877 by resorting to gross oversimplifications and a priori assumptions. The major problem of identifying planters is solved by simply arguing ". . . that for lack of a better index, a parish may be depicted as being planter or farmer, depending upon the proportion of slaves to white population." (p. 42). Other groups are either glossed over, or ignored altogether. Chapter V, on Reconstruction and the "freeman" [sic] indicates either an unawareness of, or disregard for the scholarship of the last two decades. Political ecology is only a tool for historical study. It must be buttressed by a wide knowledge of the literature. Since the book has no bibliography, the reader is forced to rely on the meager footnotes which contain little reference to recent monographs or new interpretations . Symptomatic of this deficiency is his reference to John D. Hicks' college survey text, The American Nation (1945), as his source for the disputed election of 1876. However, he did give proper recognition to twenty unpublished...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 91-92
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
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